Last year alone, our country experienced 22 major natural disasters costing Americans a record-shattering $95 billion in damages ... The climate crisis is here, and the cost of inaction is already staggering. — Representative Frank Pallone, Democrat of New Jersey, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
Last year alone, our country experienced 22 major natural disasters costing Americans a record-shattering $95 billion in damages ... The climate crisis is here, and the cost of inaction is already staggering. — Representative Frank Pallone, Democrat of New Jersey, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
Democrats Unveil Details of Sweeping Climate Change Spending Plan
The coming weeks on Capitol Hill will be crucial to President Biden’s climate agenda, including whether the president can credibly make the case to the rest of the world that the United States will meet his promise to drastically reduce emissions that are warming the planet.

In Congress, details are emerging of the climate and clean energy policies in a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget package that Democrats are drafting and hope to send to Mr. Biden’s desk by year’s end.

As progressive Democrats and Mr. Biden envision it, the budget bill, which would include a historic expansion of social welfare programs, would also be the single largest piece of climate legislation to pass Congress.

The most powerful climate mechanism in that bill is a $150 billion incentive and penalty program designed to replace most of the nation’s coal- and gas-fired power plants over the next decade with wind, solar and nuclear plants. The program would pay electricity suppliers for increasing the amount of power they produce from clean zero-emissions sources, and fine those that don’t.

Power plants that burn fossil fuels are the second-largest source of greenhouse emissions after cars and trucks, and shutting them down would significantly lower the nation’s heat-trapping pollution. If enacted, the program could stand as the centerpiece of Mr. Biden’s climate agenda.

On Monday, the House energy committee will begin consideration of that provision, known as the Clean Electricity Payment Program.

... Democrats are now making the case that the proposed record spending regarding climate change is an economic imperative.

“Last year alone, our country experienced 22 major natural disasters costing Americans a record-shattering $95 billion in damages — figures that represent more than double the historical average, but which still don’t reflect the cost of lost jobs or the trauma of families losing their homes,” said Representative Frank Pallone, Democrat of New Jersey, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which will draft the central climate provisions of the budget bill. “The climate crisis is here, and the cost of inaction is already staggering.”

The House energy committee will debate other climate provisions in the budget bill, including $13.5 billion to construct charging stations for electric vehicles and promote the electrification of heavy-duty vehicles. Another program would spend $9 billion on updating the electric grid, to make it more conducive to transmitting wind and solar power, and to make it more resilient to the extreme temperatures, flooding and fires that scientists say are now unavoidable. Another provision would spend $17.5 billion to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from federal buildings and vehicles. The budget bill would also assess a fee from oil and gas companies for leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The government would use the revenue from those fees to pay for climate mitigation programs.

At the same time, Democrats on other committees are drafting tax incentives intended to lure American drivers away from fossil-fueled cars — the nation’s top source of greenhouse pollution — and toward electric vehicles, and to boost companies that design clean energy technology. They are readying money for a “Civilian Climate Corps” — a program designed to put young people to work in environmental conservation and climate resilience. And they are preparing to channel billions to help low-income and minority communities, which are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change, as well as communities that would lose fossil fuel jobs as a result of climate change policies.

... In May, the world’s leading energy agency said nations around the world must immediately stop approving new coal-fired power plants and new oil and gas fields and quickly phase out gasoline-powered vehicles if they want to avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change.


Despite a precipitous decline in the United States, the coal industry still looms large in West Virginia. Mr. Manchin has financial connections to the industry; he owns stock valued at between $1 million and $5 million in Enersystems Inc., a coal brokerage. Last year, Mr. Manchin made $491,949 in dividends from his Enersystems stock, according to his Senate financial disclosure report. As chairman of the Senate energy committee, Mr. Manchin has broad authority in shaping the outcome of the budget bill.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/09/climate/congress-climate-budget-bill.html